With each new iOS update, announced at WWDC, comes a slew of new iOS apps, features, and performance improvements, leaving users wondering how they ever managed without them. The latest iOS version, iOS 12, due out for iOS devices this fall, will be no different, if its Public Beta is any indication.
From the new augmented reality-based Measure app to improved search and grouping in Photos to an overhauled Stocks, Apple News, Voice Memos, and Apple Books, to fun new ways of communicating with friends, family, and colleagues in the Messages and FaceTime apps, there's much to look forward to in iOS 12.
If you just can't wait till fall to try out the new apps and features in this iOS release -- and have a supported device -- then you might consider downloading the pre-release iOS 12 Public Beta and joining in the fun ahead of time. Just make sure to take all the necessary precautions first before you install any iOS beta. For its part, Apple is so confident you'll love its new iOS features that it's even added the Screen Time setting to keep your phone use from getting too out of hand.
The augmented reality-based Measure app, which comes with iOS 12, uses the augmented reality view to show users distances between any two objects using your mobile devices. For distances, tap any item and move your phone to the next item. You can then take a photo of the measurement to refer to later, so you don't have to write it down or memorize it. You can also use Measure on your iOS devices for leveling, if you're hanging art, for example.
After importing your Camera app photos, which load quicker than ever with the iOS update, you'll also be able to find them faster in the improved Photos app. You'll get smart Search Suggestions, showcasing important events, people, and places, for example, in tiles under the search bar. You can also use multiple keywords for more expeditious combined searches.
The new For You tab showcases your best photos and groups of photos -- some recent and others taken on this day in previous years. Since most photos can still be improved, Photos will recommend various image-enhancing photo effects, even showing you what they'll look like in advance with image previews. Photos will also suggest sharing photos via Messages with the people in them after first identifying them using machine learning and facial recognition.
The Stocks app, now also on iPad, makes following your stocks easier than ever with a customizable watchlist and interactive charts that show you your stocks' performance throughout the day or even over multimonth periods with easy-to-read color-coded sparklines. What's more, to help you make better informed decisions when trading stocks, the Stocks app, in the new version of iOS, also includes reputable business news stories.
Apple News app
Speaking of news, Apple News is even easier to navigate in iOS 12 with the Browse tab on the right, which enables you to easily find channels, topics, or your favorite publications.
Voice Memos app
The Voice Memos app looks even more modern in iOS 12. Those who prefer to work on a larger screen will appreciate Voice Memos' new iPad version. But no matter which version you prefer, you'll be glad to know that Voice Memos now syncs your recordings across all of your devices, so you can work on them cross-platform.
Apple Books app
Formerly iBooks, Apple Books has undergone a complete remodel, making finding and reading your books easier than ever. Easily locate something to read in the brand new bookstore or dedicated audiobooks store, organize your collection so it's easy to retrieve, and never lose your spot in the book you're currently reading, with the Reading Now tab, which takes you where you last left off with a tap.
Enliven messages with cool new filters, video stickers, and live Animoji, including new ones like ghost, koala, tiger, and T-Rex. Or you can create and share a personalized Memoji (an Animoji that looks just like you).
FaceTime now allows for group chats, aka Group FaceTime, with support for up to 32 people. Easily add participants and launch FaceTime calls right from a group chat in Messages. Then add live filters, stickers, Animoji, and Memoji to keep your crew engaged.
With all these fun new features at your disposal in iOS 12, you may never want to put your phone down. That's where Screen Time, Apple's attempt at curbing phone addiction, comes in.
But you must first understand how serious the problem is. To do this, go to Settings, then Screen Time to see a detailed graphical breakdown of your phone usage. You'll see your most used iOS apps, how many times you've picked up your phone, and how many notifications you receive. If you feel you're overusing your iOS apps, then look to the Downtime feature to schedule some time away from your mobile devices. If you try to cheat, you can expect to receive some notifications admonishing you to step away. You can also set parental controls here to keep your children from overdoing it, too.
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- iOS 12's Public Beta is worth downloading for the Measure app and Memoji alone.
- To prevent you from becoming too addicted to iOS 12's fabulous new features, you can set app limits with the Screen Time app.
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